6 Positive Vikings Stats That Matter Through 6 Weeks


Questions Answered: Jefferson's Next Deal, Patrick Jones, What's the Bears Deal?
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are riding into their bye week with a 5-1 record that has ensured they will remain the No. 2 seed in the NFC when they return to the field. After such a tumultuous 2021 season where seemingly nothing went right, some may be asking, “how did they get this good?”. Some of the answer certainly has to do with good luck, but there are some statistics that suggest the Vikings are actually quite good. Here are six positive Vikings stats through the first six weeks of the NFL season.

Turnover Differential

The Vikings have turned the ball over more often this year than they had at this point in the 2021 season, but that has been counteracted by the fact that the Vikings are one of nine teams to force their opponents in 10+ turnovers.

Because of that, the Vikings have a turnover differential of +4, tied for second-best in the NFL. Minnesota forced three crucial turnovers against the Dolphins, which certainly helped them win their fourth consecutive game.

Minnesota has forced turnovers in every game so far this season, and if they can continue to make high impact plays on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings should keep winning games.

Scoring Defense

Everyone has brought up how the Vikings continue to give up massive yardage totals to their opponents. The Dolphins gained 458 total yards this past weekend, and the Vikings have allowed 400+ yards in three of their six games this year.

That said, the 2022 Vikings have been the epitome of a “bend-don’t-break” defense. Despite allowing the fourth-most total yards and third-most passing yards, Minnesota continues to allow fewer than 20 points per game this season.

The Vikings offense has not been an elite unit by any means, but any offense with Dalvin Cook, Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen should score 20 points with relative ease. The defense hasn’t been pretty at times, but it’s getting the job done in terms of keeping points off the scoreboard.


One of the main ways that the Vikings defense has continued to keep points off the board is by getting to opposing QBs. Minnesota recorded six sacks against Dolphins QBs this weekend. Minnesota was second in the NFL in sacks last year, and once again they continue to be a top-10 group in that department.

The Vikings have 17 sacks on the year, but that’s not the only sack-related stat that matters for this team. On the other side, they’ve done a solid job of keeping Kirk Cousins upright. The Vikings QB has been sacked just 11 times this year, and his pressure rate of 24.4% is the lowest of his tenure in Minnesota, per Pro-Football-Reference.

Field Position

Special teams is a huge factor in where a team starts each possession as well as where their opponents start possessions. So far into 2022, there is no team better than the Vikings at winning the field position battle.

For their own drives, the Vikings start, on average, from their own 32.0-yard-line. That is first in the NFL, almost an entire yard ahead of the second-best New England Patriots, who start from their own 31.1.

On the other side of the ball, the Vikings special teams have done a great job of pinning their opponents deep within their own territory. Once again, the Vikings lead the league by forcing their opponents to start on average from their own 24.4-yard-line.

A major reason behind this discrepancy comes from their rookie punter, Ryan Wright. Wright pinned the Dolphins inside their own 20-yard-line six times on Sunday, and on another occasion, he pinned them exactly at the Miami 20.

Fourth Quarter Scoring

When you’re playing as many close games as the Minnesota Vikings have over the past two years (19 of Minnesota’s past 23 games have been decided by 8 or fewer points), it’s important to score down the stretch to ensure you end up on top.

Minnesota has done a terrific job of that so far in 2022, ranking fifth in the NFL by averaging 8.5 points in the fourth quarter. Over their past three games, all games that have ended as wins for the Vikings, Minnesota has upped that to 11.3 points. The only team scoring more points than the Vikings over that stretch is the New York Jets.

Three-Game Lead

At the end of the day, none of the above stats would matter all that much if the Vikings were 1-5 rather than 5-1. However, the most important stat heading into the Vikings bye week is the fact that they are 3-0 in their division and effectively have created a three-game lead in the NFC North over the Green Bay Packers.

For Minnesota to earn themselves a home playoff game, they likely need to win this division. They’ve put themselves in a great position to do just that one-third of the way through the season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.


Source link